L. Raven smothers Hammond for 2-0 win Raiders get 15th shutout, 17th straight victory

2A-1A girls soccer

November 17, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

How appropriate that No. 3 Loch Raven should win the state Class 2A-1A championship with a shutout.

Last night's 3-0 victory over Hammond at Dundalk Community College gave the Raiders (17-1) their 15th shutout of the season. They allowed only six goals all season and none in the playoffs.

"A shutout, to the whole team, meant a lot," said two-time All-Metro sweeper Nicole Froman. "We needed to get the first goal, the last goal and all the goals in between. We were going for the shutout all the way."

Froman knows something about shutouts. With her in the lineup for the past four years, the Raiders have posted 43 of them.

Although she dominated the back, beating the Bears (8-8-1) with the long ball or quick moves to the outside, Froman got plenty of help from her unheralded teammates -- just as she has all season.

Marking back Anne Mobley shut down the Bears' top threat, Emily Bielefeld, who scored four goals during the regular season but six in the playoffs.

"Anne did a great job controlling Bielefeld," said Raiders coach Anthony Menegatti. "She does that job every time. She's been able to shut down numerous top strikers."

The rest of the defense, Erica Volk, Erica O'Donnell and Laura Palazzi, also had fine efforts, as did keeper Angie Ruocco, who finished with nine saves.

The Raiders just about cruised through the first half taking a 2-0 lead by the 27th minute. They set the tone for the game with a quick series of three shots less than four minutes into the game.

Susan Giannaccini, the Raiders top scorer with 23 goals and two assists, took the first shot. Bears goalie Lindsey Mitchell batted it away. Another shot hit a crowd of defenders and deflected toward Ashley Froman but Hammond back Kristin Mutolo stopped her from getting a clear shot at the goal. Mitchell, who finished with six saves, then picked off another shot to end the rally.

In the 13th minute, though, Mitchell couldn't stop Nicole Wartman from scoring her 11th goal of the season. The junior striker took a through ball from Wendy Yingling and fired it past the reaching Mitchell.

Ashley Froman headed in the second goal on a beautiful crossing pass from Palazzi. That shot caught Mitchell moving to her left and she couldn't dive to the right corner quickly enough to stop Froman's slow-rolling header.

Up to that point, the Bears managed only two shots -- both on direct kicks and both stopped by Ruocco. Afterward the Bears, who beat two teams in the regional playoffs that they had lost to during the regular season, picked up their game.

"They did turn it up, so we did have to do a lot more defending," said Nicole Froman. "We just didn't want them to score at all and we were up 2-0, so we didn't make any runs that weren't necessary. We didn't want to take any chances."

Despite being outshot by the Bears, 7-4, in the second half, the Raiders extended their lead. Wartman beat Mitchell to a loose ball for a goal in the 59th minute.

"We thought it was a great privilege to play a team of this quality -- and they lived up to it," said Hammond first-year coach Ken Zachmann, whose team posted only a 4-7-1 regular-season record.

On the other hand, the Raiders have now won 17 in a row after falling 3-2 to now-No. 7 Mercy in their season-opener.

With last night's championship, the Raiders become Baltimore County's first two-time girls soccer champions. Only Nicole Froman and Giannaccini played on the 1993 title team that also beat Hammond.

"It feels great," said Nicole Froman, "because I came in as a

freshman and we won it and I'm leaving as a senior and we won it. Now, me and Sue really feel like we've left our mark on Loch Raven soccer."

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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